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Hyde Park School of Dance to Present THE NUTCRACKER


The performance is staged by HPSD’s founding Artistic Director August Tye, longtime ballet mistress for Lyric Opera of Chicago, along with eight choreographers.

Hyde Park School of Dance to Present THE NUTCRACKER

Hyde Park School of Dance will bring together fans of ballet, modern, and hip hop with the return of live performance in its annual presentation of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. Performances are December 10-12 at Mandel Hall on the University of Chicago campus, 1131 E. 57th Street, Chicago.

The performance is staged by HPSD's founding Artistic Director August Tye, longtime ballet mistress for Lyric Opera of Chicago, along with eight choreographers. The 75-minute narrated production includes a breakdance battle to showcase the range of dance genres the school offers while sending a message of peace-instead of battling with swords, mice and soldiers tap into the power of hip hop to work out their differences through creative self-expression. The cast includes weekly students and members of the school's pre-professional Studio Company.

"Nutcracker 2021 is special because it marks our first return to a traditional theater setting since Nutcracker 2019, which was our last staged performance before the pandemic," said Tye. "Although we miss our youngest performers, who are not participating this year so we can keep everyone safe, we are having a Virtual Young Dancers Holiday Show featuring filmed holiday dances. Our tradition of featuring our senior dancers in lead roles continues. We have brand new choreography for some of the Party Scene and the Snow, Spanish, and Arabian Dance sections as well. Our Chinese Variation will feature new costumes and traditional Chinese dance by choreographer Hana Liu."

The production also features surprise cameos by local VIPs in the larger-than-life role of Mother Ginger-anyone confirmed yet?. Previous guest performers have included Hyde Park Herald Editor Daschell Phillips, Montgomery Place board chair Mike McGarry, former Kenwood Academy High School Principal Dr. Gregory Jones, 5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston, former State Representative Kimberly DuBuclet, and Court Theatre Artistic Director Charles Newell.

HPSD faculty and students are rehearsing the production in newly renovated studios at the school's home, 5650 S. Woodlawn Avenue. The renovation project has provided three additional studio spaces, for a total of five, and concluded under budget and on time to open the fall class session. HPSD is able to offer new dance styles, including belly dance, tap, jazz/contemporary, and more options for adults.

HPSD will adhere to all protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as determined by Mandel Hall, the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois, and the CDC. Current requirements include providing proof of vaccination (or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the performance date) and masking at all times. Seating with distancing is available in the balcony. For updates, visit


The Nutcracker takes place Friday, December 10 at 7 p.m.;
Saturday, December 11 at 1 and 6 p.m.;
and Sunday, December 12 at 2 p.m.
at Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th Street, in Chicago.
General admission is $30 for adults, $25 for seniors (65+),
$10 for children ages 5-18 and for students with school ID,
and free for children younger than 5.
Special $40 reserved tickets are available through VIP Donor Packages,
which go on sale November 1.
All other tickets go on sale November 15 and are available
at 773-493-8498 or

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